Burlington — Due to a pandemic shortened season the playoff format for the Green Mountain Baseball League changed to single elimination in an effort to get teams more games in a regular season.
The Mariners took on the South Burlington Black Sox, who sent Connor Johnson to the mound. Johnson had beaten the Mariners three times already this summer.
The Mariners sent Zac Poland to the mound, who in five years being on the team had not lost a game.
The Mariners got on the board first in the fourth inning. Nicky Elderton started off the rally with a single. Davis Mikell followed with a long opposite field double that just barely stayed in the yard and had the Mariners threatening.
A ground out to the pitcher got the first out, before Matt Roy hit an RBI single to bring home Nicky and put guys on first and third.
Much like the story of the previous matchups, Johnson was able to get out of the jam with two straight strikeouts.
The lead didn’t last long as the Black Sox would rally in the bottom of the frame.
Poland was able to get the first two Black Sox players to strikeout. Algenis Garcia stroked a single, stole second and then noticed the third baseman playing back and stole third before anyone could cover the bag.
With two outs and two strikes on the next batter, Poland appeared to have struck out the side on a beautiful pitch on the outer half of the plate, but the umpire didn’t agree and gave an extra life to Cameron Lauf, who launched the next pitch to the base of the fence in right center field to tie the game at 1.
The next batter, Kenny Celeste, then stroked an opposite field two run homer and put the Black Sox up 3-1. That would be more than enough support for Johnson who continued his dominance over the Mariners this year.
The Black Sox would tack on an additional run in the fifth inning and would go on to win the game 4-1, ending the Mariners streak of four straight championships.
Nicky Elderton and Davis Mikell (double) had two hits a piece for the Mariners. Zac Poland, taking his first career loss with the Mariners, went 5 innings, allowing 8 hits, 3 runs (3 earned), and striking out 4.
The Mariners finished the summer season at 13-7 (10-6 GMBL).